You’ve Got a Lot of Living to Do

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Bay Bluffs: Our Plan for the Future

Nestled on the bluff overlooking Little Traverse Bay and the historic town of Harbor Springs, Bay Bluffs - Emmet County Medical Care Facility is a place close to home where people of all ages come together in a caring environment. We provide many services from short-term rehabilitation to long-term resident care. This 120-certified bed long-term care facility has provided a home-like environment with a caring, courteous and cheerful staff since it was established in 1966.

Who do we serve and how do we currently serve them?
We primarily serve the residents of Emmet County, but our doors are open to the surrounding community. Our average occupancy rate is 92% compared to state and national averages of 80-82%. An average of 77% of our residents are Medicaid.

The Emmet County long term care facility, Bay Bluffs, is currently equipped to provide specialized, skilled nursing care to a small segment of its resident population in the currently configured and equipped facility. Many of the other facilities in Emmet County are either not staffed with specialty care nursing or are not financially able to accept an increased proportion of Medicaid residents.

Why does the county government own and operate a nursing home?
Each county is given the opportunity to operate a nursing facility or hospital. While most have chosen not to operate hospitals, many in Michigan still find that the county has an obligation to be the safety net provider for residents needing skilled nursing care.

What is the future need for long term care in the community?
As the "baby boom" population hits their 70's, 80's and 90's in the next 5 to 10 years, cases of Alzheimer's disease and dementia are forecast to increase significantly. This population of booming adults with memory and acuity issues will result in an increasing need for around-the-clock, skilled nursing care.

As a non-profit county long term care facility, Bay Bluffs is in a strong financial position to continue accepting a majority of its residents who are on Medicaid. However, with the increasing need for individualized, skilled nursing care, residents with significant acuity issues will need to be housed in rooms that provide maximum safety and security for both the resident and the staff. The forecast for increasing numbers of adults with acuity issues needing long term, care presents Bay Bluffs with the need to increase the percent of its single occupancy rooms.

What is our vision for the project?
Bay Bluffs was built to care for our seniors – our parents and grandparents - and has done so for more than 50 years. Today we are preparing for our future, in which we expect more complex illnesses and an increase in those needing care for dementia.

Our project will create a safe and secure environment in which residents with dementia can thrive – including more private rooms and smaller family spaces, it will address the aging infrastructure of the building, and improve operational efficiencies in order to meet the complex needs of future residents.

By increasing the percent of single occupancy rooms and replacing or repairing aging facility equipment, Bay Bluffs will be able to continue providing 5-Star Quality and Staffing care to over 100 residents, most of whom hale from Emmet County. These steps will help meet the rising tide over the next S -10 years of adults with significant acuity issues. The county will continue to benefit from the roughly $13 million dollars annually that flow through the facility to the 200 employees and numerous local business and services that support the facility.

What are our specific needs for the facility for the renovation?
Several items have been identified and include the following:

      • Life Safety Code 2012 compliance
      • Increase number of Private rooms
      • Increase size of resident restrooms
      • Replace corroded water lines
      • Replace outdated HVAC systems
      • Replace flooring throughout building
      • Reconfigure front lobby
      • Reconfigure Activity Alley and living room
      • Expand laundry capacity
      • Boiler replacement as needed
      • Add dedicated training space
      • Reconfigure and expand kitchen space
      • Remodel dining rooms
      • Remodel patient bathing areas
      • Expand and replace facility cameras
      • Add additional storage space

Why add square feet to the facility with no additional capacity?
Michigan is a Certificate of Need state and based on our skilled nursing license/certification, there are no additional beds available for Emmet County. Needs of the resident population with dementia require smaller neighborhoods with self-sustaining features? Current structure is more hospital like and institutional, and does not afford these smaller communities within the larger building. Currently, we have only 12 private rooms out of 120. It is often challenging to find safe roommate placement for folks with dementia.

How does this project affect the community?
By increasing the percent of single occupancy rooms and replacing or repairing aging facility equipment, Bay Bluffs will be able to continue providing 5-Star Quality and Staffing care to over 100 residents, most of whom hale from Emmet County. These steps will help meet the rising tide over the next S -10 years of adults with significant acuity issues. The county will continue to benefit from the roughly $13 million dollars annually that flow through the facility to the 200 employees and numerous local business and services that support the facility.

How does this project affect you?
As a resident of Emmet County, your loved one or someone you know may become medically qualified to receive long term, skilled nursing care and wish to remain close to home and family members. Without Bay Bluffs, those who need specialized care may be forced to search other parts of the state for an available facility. For several decades, families in Emmet County have been proud to have Bay Bluffs as caring resource and solid member of the community. Currently, Bay Bluffs operates without a county millage. To meet the needs of the future and to maintain the integrity of facility equipment, Bay Bluffs will need financial support from the community it serves.

What is the difference between the Senior Millage and what we are asking for Bay Bluffs? Why doesn't the Senior Millage money go to Bay Bluffs?
Currently, Emmet County has a Senior Millage which funds senior services in Emmet County. These services include Meals on Wheels, senior transportation through the Friendship Center of Emmet County, and operating expenses for the Friendship Center. A small allocation of $12,000 annually is provided to Bay Bluffs and supports the Resident Activities program.